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A Most Violent Year (2014)

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In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Director:

J.C. Chandor

Writer:

J.C. Chandor
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Popularity
3,463 ( 279)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Isaac ... Abel Morales
Elyes Gabel ... Julian
Jessica Chastain ... Anna Morales
Lorna Pruce ... Toll Booth Attendant
Christopher Abbott ... Louis Servidio
Matthew Maher ... John Dominczyk
Albert Brooks ... Andrew Walsh
Jerry Adler ... Joseph Mendelsohn
Quinn Meyers ... Moishe Mendelsohn
Chester Jones III ... Beat Cop (as Chester Jones)
David Oyelowo ... D.A. Lawrence
Ashley Williams ... Deputy Lange
Glenn Fleshler ... Arnold Kline
Jimmy Palumbo ... Barber Jimmy O.
Daisy Tahan ... Annie Morales
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Storyline

A crime drama set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history, and centered on the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The result is never in question, just the path you take to get there. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

30 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jc3 See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$172,788, 4 January 2015

Gross USA:

$5,749,134

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,007,070
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to J. C. Chandor, the point of the title is these people trying to live in "their most violent year." See more »

Goofs

In the chase scene that goes onto the subway platform, as Morales jumps onto the subway, you can hear the "doors closing" warning chime in the background, but the subway cars that are in the scene never had the audible warnings. The only indication of the doors closing on the older cars was the conductor announcing, "watch the closing doors". See more »

Quotes

Anna Morales: This is one probably you're gonna regret.
Lawrence: Excuse me?
Anna Morales: My husband's an honorable man. We are not who you think we are.
Lawrence: I think I knew your father.
Anna Morales: Good for you.
Anna Morales: My husband is not my father. Not even close. So if I were you, I would start treating us with a little more respect or I guarantee he will make it his mission in life to ruin you.
[Lawrence turns his head and grins sarcastically]
Anna Morales: This was very disrespectful.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film 2017: Episode #44.2 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Una Lacrima Sul Viso
Written by Mogol & Roberto Satti
Performed by Ciao Italia
Courtesy of Rendez-Vous-Digital
See more »

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User Reviews

He's Pacino without the edge. One of best crime thrillers in years.
28 January 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

It's 1981 NYC, and it's not American Hustle. A Most Violent Year is set in the most brutal year in the city's history, when Mayor Koch and the DA would not like it to be so. While Hustle sets the scene with humor and style, Violent is happy to understate lawlessness and concentrate on the dialogue, which has undercurrents of corruption in each syllable.

Oscar Isaac plays immigrant, oil delivery company owner, Abel Morales, with an Al-Pacino veneer that goes low key, not Godfather or Scarface operatic. His double-breasted suits and ever-present camel overcoat suggest the smooth, verbal, charismatic, but unassuming business owner who wants to be as straight as his wardrobe. It's a difficult ideal because someone is hijacking his oil trucks and selling the oil on the black market.

What to do? His wife Anna (Jessica Chastain), beautiful but born to a crime family, is at times more ready to deal with the sabotage in a traditional mob way than her husband is. But Morales deals with it in a civilized, diplomatic way that of course makes him and his employees vulnerable to the rude, irrational hoodlums.

Director J.C. Chandor knows minimalist dialogue, apparent in his All is Lost, where Robert Redford gives out with one line but an Oscar worthy performance anyway. Much more dialogue here, still minimal, but it has the David Mamet attention to the power of each word.

In a world Sidney Lumet depicted quite well, everyone has a brush with lawlessness, from truck drivers to cops to politicians—no one is exempt, except maybe Morales, who tries to do the "best right" thing in the face of pressure to use violence as the tried-and-true technique. That's why this is such a sweet action, crime drama: You can identify with the protagonist and not be bogged down by gratuitous violence.

This is one of the best action-crime dramas in years. Isaac is Pacino without his edginess; Chandor's dialogue is soft Mamet, a welcome substitute for rude bullets. Indeed, while the film is titled A Most Violent Year, it is not the most violent movie. Leave that to Martin Scorsese.


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